Election Watch

Issue Date January 2004
Volume 15
Issue 1
Page Numbers 179-81
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(September-December 2003)

Azerbaijan: In an October 15 presidential election, Prime Minister Ilham Aliyev of the New Azerbaijan Party won 76 percent of the votes cast, thereby succeeding his ailing father Haydar Aliyev. Opposition parties and international monitors claimed that the election was marred by fraud, voter intimidation, and ballot-rigging. Isa Gambar of the Musavat Party finished second with 12 percent of the vote.

Croatia: In parliamentary elections held on November 23, the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) won 62 of 140 contested seats. The ruling Social Democrats won 43, the Peasants’ Party won 9 seats, and the remaining seats went to smaller parties. The HDZ, a nationalist party founded by the late President Franjo Tudjman, now espouses a more pro-European line.

Georgia: In disputed November 2 parliamentary elections, two blocs loyal to President Eduard Shevardnadze came in first and second. Opposition protests against the irregularities in the elections led to Shevardnadze’s resignation on November 23. New elections were scheduled for January 4; results will be reported in a future issue.

Grenada: In November 27 elections to the 15-seat House of Representatives, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell’s ruling New National Party, which held all the seats in the previous parliament, won 8 seats and the National Democratic Congress won the remaining 7.

Guatemala: In the November 9 first-round presidential election, Óscar Berger of the Grand National Alliance (GANA) and Álvaro Colom Caballeros of the National Unity for Hope (UNE) received 34 and 26 percent, respectively. A second round is scheduled for December 28; results will be reported in a future issue. Former military ruler and congressman Efraín Ríos Montt of the Guatemalan Republic Front (GRF) lost his bid for the presidency with 17 percent of the vote. In legislative elections held the same day, the GRF lost [End Page 179] its control of Congress, winning only 20 percent of the vote. GANA won 26 percent, and the UNE won 18 percent. The National Advancement Party won 11 percent, and the remainder was split among other parties.

Guinea: Presidential elections were scheduled for December 21. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Mauritania: Incumbent president Maaoya Sid Ahmed Ould Taya of the Democratic and Social Republican Party, who has been in power since 1984, was reelected with 67 percent of the vote on November 7. Former military dictator Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla won 19 percent. Taya was criticized for closing election venues to both domestic and international monitors.

Russia: Parliamentary elections were held on December 7. Results will be reported in a future issue.

Rwanda: In the country’s first-ever multiparty parliamentary elections on September 29-October 2, the Rwandan Patriotic Front won 74 percent of the vote and 40 of the 53 elected seats in the 80-seat lower house. The Social Democratic Party won 7 seats, and the Liberal Party won 6 seats. International observers stated that these elections were not entirely free and fair but constituted a significant step in Rwanda’s democratic development.

Serbia: On November 16, the country tried for the third time in just over a year to elect a president, but election results were again invalidated in accordance with Serbian electoral law, because voter turnout was less than 50 percent. It was reported that Tomislav Nikolić of the Serbian Radical Party (led by indicted war criminal Vojislav Šešelj) won 48 percent of the vote; Dragoljub Micunović of the governing DOS (Democratic Opposition of Serbia) won 35 percent. The election was boycotted by other major parties. At the time of this writing, it was unclear when or if a new presidential election would take place. Parliamentary elections were scheduled for December 28, and results will be reported in a future issue.

Upcoming Elections
(January-December 2004)

Afghanistan: presidential, June 2004

Algeria: presidential, April 2004

Belarus: parliamentary, October 2004

Bosnia and Herzegovina: parliamentary, November 2004

Botswana: legislative, October 2004

Czech Republic: parliamentary (senate), November 2004

Dominican Republic: presidential, 16 May 2004

El Salvador: presidential, 21 March 2004 [End Page 180]

Equatorial Guinea: parliamentary, March 2004

Ghana: presidential and legislative, December 2004

Haiti: parliamentary, May 2004

India: parliamentary, October 2004

Indonesia: legislative, 5 April 2004; presidential, 5 July 2004

Iran: parliamentary, 20 February 2004

Lebanon: parliamentary, August 2004

Lithuania: parliamentary, October 2004

Macedonia: presidential, October 2004

Malawi: presidential and legislative, 18 May 2004

Malaysia: parliamentary, 20 December 2004

Maldives: legislative, November 2004

Mauritius: parliamentary, September 2004

Mozambique: presidential and parliamentary, December 2004

Namibia: presidential and parliamentary, November 2004

Niger: presidential and legislative, October 2004

Panama: presidential and legislative, 2 May 2004

Philippines: presidential and legislative, 16 May 2004

Romania: presidential and parliamentary, November 2004

Russia: presidential, 14 March 2004

Slovakia: presidential, 3 April 2004

Slovenia: parliamentary, October 2004

South Africa: legislative, 2 August 2004

South Korea: parliamentary, April 2004

Sudan: legislative, December 2004

Taiwan: presidential, 20 March 2004; parliamentary, December 2004

Thailand: parliamentary, March 2004

Tunisia: presidential and parliamentary, October 2004

Ukraine: presidential, October 2004

Uruguay: presidential and legislative, 31 October 2004

Uzbekistan: parliamentary, December 2004

Election Watch provides reports of recently decided and upcoming elections in developing nations and the postcommunist world. Elections in nondemocratic nations are included when they exhibit a significant element of genuine competition or, in the case of upcoming elections, when they represent an important test of progress toward democracy. Some of the data for Election Watch come from the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), a private, nonprofit education and research foundation that assists in monitoring, supporting, and strengthening the mechanics of the electoral process worldwide. For additional information, visit www.ifes.org.